Yale Expert Responds to British Academic Union's Boycott of Israel
Charles Small, director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, is available to comment on the vote by the United Kingdom’s University and College Union at the UCU conference yesterday to support a boycott of Israeli academics. Interviews can be conducted in English or French.
Small is an expert on antisemitism and other forms of racisms, bias/hate crimes, Israeli/Palestinian issues, radical Islamism, the demonization of Israel, Holocaust denial, issues of multiculturalism, globalization and cultural identity.
“Scholarship is intended to be based on an honest search for truth that examines all sides of a given issue and context,” Small says. “The fact that the UCU voted to reject this basic premise and boycott Israeli scholars and academic institutions goes against the very nature of real scholarship. The UCU decision is based on a one-sided view of the Middle East conflict. It undermines academic freedom and sets different standards for people based on their origin rather than on their scholarship or ideas.”
He adds, “It is incredible that some are attempting to de-legitimize Israel, the only democracy in the region, while a significant radical social movement, Hamas, gains strength that is anti-Enlightenment, genocidal in its antisemitism, not to mention anti-democratic, sexist and homophobic, and in fact governs Israel’s neighboring Palestinian Authority.”
Small, a native of Montreal, received his B.A. in Political Science from McGill University, his M.Sc. in Economic Development from University College London, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University. He carried out post-doctoral research at the Université de Montreal and has taught social policy and social theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Ben Gurion University, Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was an associate professor and director of Urban Studies at Southern Connecticut State University and has worked as a consultant and policy advisor in North America, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. Small specializes in social and cultural theory, globalization and national identity, socio-cultural policy, racisms - including antisemitism.
The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism is the first institute of its kind at a North American university. Established in September 2006, YIISA is dedicated to the scholarly research of the origins and manifestations of antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, including racisms and prejudice, as it relates to policy. Through its examination of antisemitism and policy, YIISA disseminates scholarly material to promote further understanding and to contribute to policy analysis.
YIISA is housed at Yale’s prestigious Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), whose mission is to facilitate interdisciplinary inquiry in the social sciences and research into important public policy arenas. ISPS seeks to shape public policies of local, national, and international significance.